Into the New Year: Creating Communities of Compassion and Care
Mark Anderson | February 17, 2014
We are well into the New Year now and I continue to be inspired by the fullness of life and of ministries across the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)!
From West Virginia, the Rev. Thaddeus Allen, the Regional Minister and President, recently shared with me his excitement about the launch of Senior Access Point, a resource center that will serve older adults by providing them information on community health services and wellness programs.
He knows how much it will mean that older adults within Disciples congregations and beyond will have a place to come and be provided resources on health services and wellness programs throughout their local communities. The Senior Access Point is a part of the Gift of Years Project, a ministry to, for, and with Disciples older adults that the region is partnering with the NBA on as they seek to meet the needs of sages and saints in Disciples churches.
From Oklahoma City, the Rev. Devon McAnally is having meaningful conversations with myself and other NBA colleagues on issues such as insurance coverage for outreach programs, strengthening policies and practices for board governance, and perspectives on non-profit administration. While these topics do not necessarily invoke immediate images of "warmth" and "care", we come away often smiling and feeling good that these details are being addressed so that the mission of the Disciples Retirement Community of Oklahoma (DRCO) - an emerging health and social service non-profit - can truly make an impact for older adults in Oklahoma. Devon's work to train and prepare team leaders through the "Care Partners" ministry plus the informational resources she is creating will promote healthcare and wellness for all. We are inspired by her commitment and vision of ministry and care.
And then, there is the Rev. Dr. Ben Bohren, who is both a friend and colleague working with us on the launch of the NBA XPLOR program. He has recently been on several planes, driving in cars, sitting in many circles of conversations as he informs and encourages young Disciples to consider being part of a yearlong program of service, simple community living, and being an intentional partner with Disciples churches across the country. He shares with us some amazing stories of the work that young adult Disciples are already doing - working in youth ministry, volunteering to eradicate human trafficking, studying in graduate degree programs in religious studies, to name only a few. He conveys how these folks have tremendous hope and seek to make positive change in our world. After every phone conversation or meeting with Ben, I cannot help but feel energized, full of optimism, and affirmed that the work we are doing to partner with local churches, young adults, and various ministries to create this XPLOR program is truly blessed!
In the midst of all this, I invite your prayers, supportive thoughts, and your engagement in these exciting ministries of our Church. We are indeed a collective of people and ministries working towards "creating communities of compassion and care."